Act now against HB 1933

by Providenza Loera Rocco, JD, MSW, M. Bioethics

HB 1933, if passed, will prevent transgender people insured through Medicaid and CHIP from receiving the healthcare they need and deserve. Urge our lawmakers to vote against HB 1933 today!

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I always tell my students that health care professionals — social workers, doctors, med students, nurses, mental health professionals — ALL BELONG IN POLICY. We should be the ones informing policy at the local and national levels because we know exactly what’s happening on the ground, in our communities, and in our hospitals. We must commit to represent compassionate medicine in health care policy.

Currently, we must be called to speak out against HB 1933 which was introduced by Rep. Topper. HB 1933, the “Taxpayer-Funded Gender or Sex Reassignment Services Act” would prohibit CHIP and Medicaid recipients from receiving a number of transition-related services. It would exclude everything from counseling to hormones to surgical procedures.

The Hippocratic Oath, the NASW Code of Ethics, the ANA Code of Ethics, and the PA Code of Ethics call us to help ALL people compassionately. This act is a clear violation of our professional duty. Act against it today.

You can send a letter to your representative or call their office. Need help finding your representative? Look here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/

Here is a sample of what you could say:

I am calling (or writing) about House Bill 1933, which would prevent transgender people insured through Medicaid and CHIP from getting the healthcare they need. I believe that no matter what kind of insurance a transgender person has, they should be able to access the medical care that they and their doctors agree is necessary for their health and well-being. Please do not let this bill pass!

Philadelphia is home to many transgender folks who struggle daily to have their health care needs met, and struggle with other issues including safety in the city, factors only complicated for trans folks dealing with poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and racism. Insuring trans folks on CHIP and Medicaid is ESSENTIAL to ethical care.

We must speak up now! This bill is set to go to vote next week!